Four Years of Excellence on the Soccer Field
Justin Decoteau ‘19 is a four year senior at The Marvelwood School and one of the greatest soccer players and athletes Cornwall and Skiff Mountain have ever seen. Justin made an immediate impact as a freshman, starting every game and helping the team to the 2015 HVAL championship. “My freshman year we had a solid team, all of us were dominant on the field and it was a lot of fun,” said Justin of the experience as he stepped onto the soccer pitch for the first time at Marvelwood. “We dropped off a bit my sophomore year (after Fabio Massa ‘15, who scored a school record 46 goals that year, graduated) but we still had the kids around me who put in the hard work and determination and we were able to make the finals again.” Justin scored a freshman record 18 goals in 2015 and followed that up with an identical 18 goals in 2016. The next season, Justin grew in size and in ability, scoring an incredible 41 goals, which helped him break the school record for career goals, which put him 77 for his total at the conclusion of his junior season. “Junior and senior year I was named captain, which comes with a lot of responsibilities and you have to lead the team with your play, drive and attitude.”
Justin came to Marvelwood from Brooklyn, NY where he developed his soccer skill with a multitude of top flight club teams. He started off with the American Youth Soccer Organisation (AYSO) when he was in his early years. “They were great for developing my basic skills and tactical awareness from an early age,” said Justin of his start in the sport. “After AYSO, I joined the Brooklyn Patriots, from 8 to 11 years old, and then with the Brooklyn Italians from 12 to 15. There were a lot of fun memories but it was the coaches who helped me develop into the Marvelwood legend I am today.”
In talking about his time at Marvelwood, Justin said he will miss his teammates, who he thinks of as brothers, and his head coach, Dr. John Kennedy. “He has taught me so much, on and off the field, he’s a great guy. He pushes us hard to be successful and focuses on our weak points for improvement.” Justin credited Kennedy with helping him improve his shooting and passing ability during his time here.
Justin as a senior has been nothing short of miraculous. His ability is the defensive focus to any opposing team’s game plan, which causes teams to double or triple team Justin, to keep him away from their net. This opens up others for opportunities, which has helped the blue and white to a 10-5 overall record, with 8 wins against 2 losses in the league, as our regular season concluded today with a resounding 7-0 win over Darrow School. Justin has 31 goals in his senior campaign and has now pushed his record past the century mark with 108 career goals. The Pterodactyls are the #2 seed for the HVAL playoff, which starts for us in the semifinal on Wednesday.
“Hopefully playing Division 1, that’s always the dream for a student-athlete, but Division 2 or Division 3 would be great as well. Really just playing in college in general would be fun,” Justin said after being asked what he is excited for in the future. With a boatload of goals to his name already, Justin will look to lead his team to another deep run in the playoffs and bookend his career with a banners to hang in the gym. See more photos of Justin and the Boys Varsity Soccer team on Flickr.